Google I/O kicks off
May 15, 2013 —
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Google’s annual developer conference kicked off this morning, with a keynote highlighting new tools, APIs, and a dedicated Android IDE based on JetBrains IntelliJ. Many of the new APIs were aimed at making Android-based geolocation applications easier to write.
Developers applauded the new Android Studio IDE as each feature was shown. This IDE is based on the community edition of JetBrains IntelliJ, but it has many additions focused specifically on the Android platform.
During a demonstration in the keynote, Google showed Android Studio’s capabilities, such as the automatic previewing of strings that may be stored outside of the application. Android Studio also includes automated previews of icons and colors in the margins of the IDE itself.
Developers will also be able to preview their Android applications while they're developing in the Android Studio using the live rendering capabilities. Using a number of drop-down menus, developers using Android Studio can open a panel that shows what their application will look like on any given phone. Multiple phone display sizes can be previewed at once, and the presentation layer language (Japanese or Russian) can be changed quickly as well.
All of these real-time rendering features allow developers to quickly iterate their applications. The demonstration showed how developers can change font sizes and text strings within the IDE, while quickly seeing these changes across multiple device resolutions and languages.
New things in the store
The Google Play Store also gained a number of new features, including a tablet-specific application category. The Google Play Store's Developer Console received five new features: App Translation Services, Optimization Tips, Referral Tracking, Revenue Graphs, and Beta Testing & Staged Releases.
Optimization, Referral Tracking and Revenue Graphs are all focused on helping existing applications understand and navigate the Google Play Store. Optimization Tips, for example, will suggest ways to increase app visibility in the store. Sample tips included “Release a tablet version of the app” and “You have a lot of Russian users but no Russian version of the application.”